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Murder Among the Mormons on Netflix


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I haven't.  I've read some write-ups on it, which haven't been bad towards the church.  One of the most interesting aspects of the series is that it's directed by the same guy who directed Napoleon Dynamite, who is a Latter-day Saint himself.

I've seen some discussion in my Facebook circles on it, all having been started by members.  I've seen reactions on those posts between "wow this is so interesting!" to "I know nothing about the church and I'm so confused" to "I hate that horrible cult, everyone knows they are a cult!" to "this has strengthened my testminoy of the Doctrine and Covenants" type stuff. 

So you know, pretty much how it always ends up. :lol: 

For those people who hate the church but who only know enough to be able to swing at the low-hanging fruit, the series is a perfect opportunity to gleeful rail against the organization and members (and for some disillusioned members it's a great opportunity to provide them with a venue to rail), for others it's a chance to learn something about an intriguing part of our history (and the history of Utah), and for others it's a chance to grow their relationship with God in new ways. 

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I watched it. It contained much of the same information that the book Salamander did. I liked the interviews with Shannon Flynn (Hoffmans’s former friend) and Dorie Olds (Hoffman’s former wife). I would like to know something about their lives since the incident but I think they were smart to keep it about the bombings and the forgeries. I see most of the documentaries today that just lose their primary focus and drift off course. This one didn’t do that. 

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Most may already know this but for a while Hofmann's cellmate in prison was LDS fundamentalist Dan Lafferty, infamous for murdering his sister-in-law and her 18 month old child in an act he and his brother Ron claimed was a revelation from God.

Those must of been some interesting conversations.

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It’s a fascinating show. I lived this season of history quite intimately. It turned worlds upside down. I thought Netflix’s attempt to sensationalize the docuseries left many of the details in disarray and confusion. Questions about the church’s role were asked to build suspense but never fully answered. And unless people have a basic understanding of Mormon history, it will be hard to follow (to understand the Salamander Letter, you have to understand not only why it would be used to authenticate a forged 116 pages, but why the 116 pages is important).  

I also think people should have been identified with their church affiliation, as was Tanner. Bias doesn’t render ones testimony incredible, but it can certainly paint it.

But it was very interesting and the interviews were engaging, even these many years later.

I know the man that gave Hofmann a blessing after his suicide attempt. As Shannon said, he had no idea he was blessing Satan.  Thank goodness Hofmann survived.  I can’t imagine the damage of not having answers.

Hofmann was plain evil. He exploited the fragility of both faith and science. He took two lives and destroyed many more, including families. Those that I know that lost their testimonies due (at least in part) to Hofmann never came back.  

Edited by PacMan
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8 minutes ago, CA Steve said:

Most may already know this but for a while Hofmann's cellmate in prison was LDS fundamentalist Dan Lafferty, infamous for murdering his sister-in-law and her 18 month old child in an act he and his brother Ron claimed was a revelation from God.

Those must of been some interesting conversations.

Lafferry apparently likes (ed?) to bounce his revelations and theological ideas off Hofmann. Crazy. 

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In the aftermath of the Hofmann murders, there was talk of a movie being made. Some of us dreaded it and were relieved when no such project came to fruition. The dread was because of some of the inaccurate and scurrilous stuff that had been published in the mass media. 
 

This far removed from the events, though, this current project might not be bad, especially if done by competent people not unfriendly to the Church. I’ll reserve judgment on it. 

 

On a peripheral note, has anyone here heard of what has become of the movie Ron Howard was going to do based on the Krakauer book Under the Banner of Heaven? When I Google it, the latest I can ever learn is that it is “in development.”  I kind of hope that project dies of natural causes before it ever comes to the fore. 

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Yes,  I watched it.  For the first time I got to see the faces of those who are talked about a lot.   I thought it was pretty good.

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7 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

On a peripheral note, has anyone here heard of what has become of the movie Ron Howard was going to do based on the Krakauer book Under the Banner of Heaven? When I Google it, the latest I can ever learn is that it is “in development.”  I kind of hope that project dies of natural causes before it ever comes to the fore. 

I have some real reservations about Krakauer's accuracy in his books, even though I generally enjoy them and own a couple.  I know that the people who were there during the events of his Into Thin Air book had some real issues with it and called him out on some things.

So as far as he is not fond of religion in the first place, and seemed to illustrate a real lack of understanding of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in specific in the book, I also think that it would probably be good if the Under the Banner of Heaven movie didn't see the light of day.

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5 minutes ago, bluebell said:

I have some real reservations about Krakauer's accuracy in his books, even though I generally enjoy them and own a couple.  I know that the people who were there during the events of his Into Thin Air book had some real issues with it and called him out on some things.

So as far as he is not fond of religion in the first place, and seemed to illustrate a real lack of understanding of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in specific in the book, I also think that it would probably be good if the Under the Banner of Heaven movie didn't see the light of day.

When I taught junior high English, we read an acclaimed book called Three Cups of Tea, which I used to practice research, critical thinking, and argumentative reasoning with students. The book itself is about a man who got lost in the Karakorum mountains and was nursed to health by Pakistani villagers. He started a foundation to build schools in that region (Pakistan/Afghanistan), and the book describes the ups, downs, and adventures of that process (including a hair-raising story with Pashtun terrorists). The book itself is enjoyable and accessible, but John Krakauer came after it (extremely harshly) and depicted both Greg Mortenson and his foundation as a fraud. So, we used the book, Krakauer hit pieces, articles discussing the controversy (including other mountain climbers in climbing magazines), and television interview footage. Students could reach any conclusion, but needed to support their arguments with evidence. Krakauer portrayed Mortenson's whole story as largely made-up, including his alleged time with the villagers who nursed him back to health. But, other climbers (including one's on that trip) backed him up. 

Krakauer was so over-the-top, especially in the TV interviews, that the students started calling him "John Crackhead" (he does have a deranged madman look about him when he gets riled up).  I remember one student saying, "What is his problem?" Students did a pretty good job of building their cases, and most argued that the Greg Mortenson stories (mostly) really happened, but that he was bad at running the foundation (he wasn't a good businessman, corruption in those areas abounded, and he couldn't account for a lot of money). Schools really were built, but were often not used as schools by the villages (some housed goats in them, or used them to store supplies). Many villages could have used hospitals, wells, or other infrastructure but the purpose of the foundation was schools, so that's what were built. 

Joseph Smith and the Church aren't the only ones Krakauer has gone after. ;) 

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58 minutes ago, rongo said:

It seems that, along with the money, a major motivation for his forgeries was discrediting the Church and making it look bad (and I know that some of his forgeries were from Americana, too. He didn't only to Mormon ones).

Who was going to be Mark Hofmann's third victim?  How many more would he have needed to murder?  His accidental explosion happened near Temple Squire, was some higher ups in the Church next on the list?

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5 minutes ago, longview said:

Who was going to be Mark Hofmann's third victim?  How many more would he have needed to murder?  His accidental explosion happened near Temple Squire, was some higher ups in the Church next on the list?

He’s claimed that he was always the intended third target. The parole board did not seem to believe him. 

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1 hour ago, rongo said:

That made me wonder just how many Hoffman forgeries there were that had not been executed yet, and were "out there," sleeper-cell style.

I’ve wondered that too. I’m not a historian or particularly keenly interested in church history but the damage a person like Mark Hoffman can do-it’s just mind-boggling.

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48 minutes ago, bluebell said:

 

54 minutes ago, longview said:

Who was going to be Mark Hofmann's third victim?  How many more would he have needed to murder?  His accidental explosion happened near Temple Squire, was some higher ups in the Church next on the list?

He’s claimed that he was always the intended third target. The parole board did not seem to believe him.

 

I don’t believe him either. He’s too much of a narcissist.

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Quote

 

"Think I, every hour as the cop walks by, there, but for the grace of God, go I."

     —Hofmann doggerel


Oh.  You mean, you could be free, but you don't want to be?  Well, guess what?  That'll be no problem, Mr. Hofmann!  I'm sure the State of Utah will be more than happy to grant you your wish, permanently! <_<:rolleyes:

 

 

 

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6 hours ago, HappyJackWagon said:

Definitely on my watchlist. Maybe this weekend after I watch the Coming 2 America sequel :) 

You'll have to let us know if you think Hofmann is unworthy. 😕

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6 hours ago, bluebell said:

I have some real reservations about Krakauer's accuracy in his books, even though I generally enjoy them and own a couple.  I know that the people who were there during the events of his Into Thin Air book had some real issues with it and called him out on some things.

So as far as he is not fond of religion in the first place, and seemed to illustrate a real lack of understanding of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in specific in the book, I also think that it would probably be good if the Under the Banner of Heaven movie didn't see the light of day.

I remember this review from the old FARMS Review of Books on the Book of Mormon.

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I read both Salamander and Victims. I tried The Mormon Murders, but had to give it up because it was lame and totally biased. It's been a long time, but if I recall correctly, a large motivation for Hofmann in producing the Salamander Letter was that there were so very, very few examples of Martin Harris' handwriting. If Hofmann could have verification/acceptance of the letter, it would not only embarrass the Church in an of itself, but it would then also become the standard by which all other alleged Harris documents would be judged for validity. That would open the door to Hofmann producing the lost 116 pages, which he could have say anything he wanted with the end goal of undermining the entire foundation of faith claims for the BOM and consequently of the Church (plus make him a bazillion dollars).

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Others' mileage may vary, but personally, I'm not sure how purporting to find the 116 pages would rock the foundations of most astute readers of the Book of Mormon and of the Doctrine and Covenants.  Essentially, Nephi says, "Why the crap am I writing about this, since my dad already wrote about it? :huh::unknw:  Ah, well!  God knows!"  (Literally: God does know!)  And then, we have (purportedly) the Lord telling Joseph Smith, "No, don't try to retranslate the lost 116 pages: Your enemies will use that attempt against you if you try."  In light of what Nephi and the Lord have said on the subject, it would be tough for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as an institution and for its most astute members and readers of the Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants to simply toss all of that aside. 

Do I think that what was lost in the 116 pages will come forth eventually?  Sure, but when that does happen, it will come from the same source that's responsible for the whole thing in the first place.  Otherwise, It's a great opportunity for someone to come forth with yet another last-days instance of "many-shall-come-forth-in-my-name, and-shall-deceive-many."  

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